Carol: Caring for the Culture — and the Community
Anyone who has ever wondered about the connection between culture and freedom should read yesterday’s New York Times column by Ross Douthat. In one sentence, he succinctly illustrates the connection: [T]he weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems.
It’s a point I tried to make in my book, “Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damges Girls (and America, Too!).” The fact is that if people cannot support themselves and each other — and by “support” I mean everything from financial support to moral and emotional support — they will inevitably, ultimately look to the government for help. The less capable people are of managing their own lives, the more the heavy hand of government will necessarily intrude to ensure a basic level of survival and protect against chaos.
These issues — how we support ourselves and each other, how we organize and manage our lives — are cultural questions. How we function as a society plays a large role in determining the kind of government (and how much freedom) we will have.
Because women have traditionally been the primary transmitters of culture (because we have long been the ones who primarily raise the children!) we have an especially vital role to play in figuring out how to address cultural issues without sounding preachy, out-of-touch or uncaring. That is our challenge. That is our gift.